If you’re bringing home a puppy, the first thing you need to consider is what the puppy will need. Where should I keep him so that he’s happy, safe, comfortable, easy to take care of, and train?

Let me make it simple for you with time-tested, pet parent-tested methods for puppy rearing. Additionally, you will want to start right away on house training. The following will make it easier, quicker, and less stressful for you, your family, and your new puppy.

Here’s what you need, what you need to do, how you do it, and why:


A puppy should not have access to your entire house or apartment. It will not make for a happier puppy because he is given complete freedom to roam wherever he wants. Generally speaking, a puppy that is allowed to use the entire home or a large majority of it, will urinate in another room especially when you’re not watching him. It’s extremely difficult to house train a puppy unless his space is limited and freedom to have a larger area to explore, is at designated times. With a schedule I work out with you through Online Trainer, you will know when the puppy should have time in the crate, in the playard, and yes, playing freely in your home…or at least part of it.

I highly recommend a vertical steel playard because of its obvious strength and durability, especially for large breed puppies.  For smaller dogs, I actually like some of the heavy-duty plastic playards for kids or pups better than the lightweight, flimsy metal ones designed for dogs. They are actually quite large and designed in sections that can be added or removed as well as being able to form a circle or rectangle or free form. It makes for a comfortable, secure place for the puppy when he is not attended to. The playard can be placed in the kitchen, which is the most preferred place or heartbeat of the house, meaning centrally located where the puppy is not isolated. It’s also best to have it close to the door that you use to take him outside.

Toys, chews should be placed inside the playard.

Food and water bowls can be placed inside the playard but on a limited basis as per the recommended Online Trainer personal schedule that we will work out together.

Placing a crate inside the playard is optional. However, if you choose to use a crate, putting it inside the playard, leaving the door open so that your puppy can go in and out of the crate to play with toys or chews, will help to make the puppy feel like the “crate ” is his “room” and he will be more comfortable with it when you need to close the door for training. I much prefer the wire crates to a plastic crate. Why? The metal crate provides better vision, better airflow, is cleaner, less confining, easier for the pet parent to see inside and check on the puppy, and easier to clean. It can also offer two or three doors. The third is on top and I never had a pet parent make use of it; so, a two-door crate is perfect especially for larger breeds. It has more flexibility as far as placement in a room. Additionally, leaving both doors open until the puppy feels more “at home” with the crate might help.

If you have a large breed puppy, it’s best to buy a large crate with a divider so that the puppy can continue to use the same crate as he grows.

Towels, blankets, carpeting, mats, or anything absorbent will give your puppy the perfect place to urinate. Why get your paws wet if you don’t have to? So, nothing absorbent in the playard or crate until you are sure the puppy is not urinating inappropriately. I know how uncomfortable you might think your puppy is if there is nothing in the bottom of his crate but remember that he will voluntarily lie down on the wooden or tile floor and be perfectly comfortable.

The playard works so well, that pet parents who prefer not to use a crate for training, are comfortable and happy using the playard exclusively. However, crate training is highly recommended and should be used together with the playard.


If you’re attempting to house train your puppy, you must limit the puppy’s roaming area. Gates are the easiest and satisfy the most complex doorways, hallways, and even staircases. The kitchen is usually the best place. Besides the fact that the kitchen is usually the heartbeat of the home, the puppy’s food and water are accessible and there is most like, no carpeting. If you allow your puppy to roam the apartment or house, the puppy can and will go to an area out of your sight and urinate. Then the puppy will return to where you are. Even if you are using pee pads, a young puppy will not seek out the pad from a far distance or another room.

Gates are available in an extra-wide, extra-tall, flexible, adaptable, wall-mounted, pressure-mounted, walkthrough, pet-door walk through and even a variety of colors.

Limiting the amount of space your puppy is allowed to roam will not only benefit the puppy by way of training, but it will reduce the number of “unknown” accidents in other parts of your home, only to be discovered at a later date. Remember this: if you allow your puppy to wander off and urinate, you are enabling him as well!


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